If you have a spare room in your home and want to make a positive difference to a young person, then Pathways at Middlesbrough Council would like to hear from you. We're looking for more householders to be part of our team of supported lodgings providers.
What are supported lodgings?
Supported lodgings provide a stepping stone to independence for young people leaving care.
Could you offer supported lodgings?
We're looking for people from all walks of life, singles or couples, who want to help care leavers, aged between 16 and 21 years old, by supporting them in their transition to independent living.
As a provider, you're expected to live in your property full time, but you're free to pursue your own lifestyle, including going to work and on holiday. You'll provide a home-like environment and domestic routine, helping the young person to develop independent living skills such as cooking, cleaning, and managing a budget, building their confidence and self-esteem.
Who can be a provider?
Being a provider isn't about having any particular qualifications, it’s more about understanding the issues facing young people. You'll be someone who is prepared to act as an advocate, you'll have a sense of humour, and most importantly, you'll be passionate about making a positive difference to a young person.
You'll receive a competitive weekly allowance of £260, and be provided with ongoing training and support.
If you decide to go ahead with a full application, we'll carry out personal checks and a background assessment. As well as your ongoing training and support, the young person will also receive support and advice from their personal advisor in the Pathways team.
Tracey is one of our experienced supported lodging providers. We asked her to tell us about her experience.
"I've been a supported lodgings provider for........wow! Over 8 years now; how time flies. I feel privileged that these youngsters allow me into their lives to share the next chapter.
To see these young people learn to trust you and come to you for support, to give them the time they need to get to the place they need to be, feels amazing. Giving them the chance to learn the practical skills they'll need when they move on to independence is something that will stay with them, to help them be successful in their own home.
In my experience I've had long term and short term placements, and I've also become mum to some, nana to others' children, and even been asked to be a birthing partner! It can be never-ending and I’m so lucky that so many of my youngsters keep in contact with me. To work so closely with these young people and support them through upset with hugs, talking, and just giving them time, then to see them so confident, so positive, and so full of life weeks later, is such an amazing feeling.
I love what I do, and the support from Pathways' dedicated worker is always there when needed, to just sound off to or to run things past.
I plan on continuing this for years to come."